Tag Archives: writing dialog

ON “THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER”

Even if you aren’t writing hardboiled detective, crime, or mystery stories, I think pulp grandmaster Raymond Chandler’s 1950 introduction to “The Simple Art of Murder” is a must-read. Here he dissects the traditional mystery and really seems to be dismantling … Continue reading

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NOTES ON CHARACTER-DRIVEN DIALOG

In Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott tells us that, “One line of dialogue that rings true reveals character in a way that pages of description can’t.” Absolutely true. Each of your characters, like each of the people you know in the real … Continue reading

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I SAID AND

“I’ve seen this a lot lately,” I said and stopped typing to think about how clunky this reads. “We need to talk about that construction.” The construction we need to talk about is: said and …in dialog attribution. It’s clear … Continue reading

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GROUP POV? NO. JUST… NO.

Do I even need to go on? Please believe me that I’m not a rules-monger when it comes to creative writing. I want to read great stories told in fresh and fascinating ways. If that means a copy editor at The … Continue reading

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DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS, PART 1: CHARACTERS

Continuing on the general subject of point of view (POV) and “show, don’t tell,” let’s talk a bit about drawing conclusions. This, like lapses in POV, often shows up in dialog attribution, often in the form of the dreaded adverb: “My … Continue reading

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DIALOG AND POV

If you’ve been following Fantasy Authors Handbook for any length of time you’ll know I’m not big on rules for writing fiction. Fiction is an art form, and so has to be open to new ideas, new methods, new voices. That said, … Continue reading

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WRITE SOMETHING OF VALUE TODAY

I am a to-do-lister. I live (more or less) by the to do list. Every day, on my calendar, which, thanks to the kind folks at Apple, syncs between my computer and phone, I have, usually at 9:00 am—but that’s … Continue reading

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THE BEST OF FANTASY AUTHORS HANDBOOK IS ALMOST HERE!

Releasing in paperback and Kindle formats next week, The Best of Fantasy Authors Handbook, Volume I 2009-2013collects fifty-eight of the first five years’ worth of posts, most (at least a little) expanded, revised, and/or updated for this volume. Here is the … Continue reading

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COVER REVEAL…

This week, a bit of a teaser… Coming soon. —Philip Athans Follow me on Twitter @PhilAthans… Link up with me on LinkedIn… Friend me on GoodReads… Find me at PublishersMarketplace… Or contact me for editing, coaching, ghostwriting, and more at Athans & Associates Creative Consulting.

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WRITE WHAT YOUR CHARACTERS KNOW

By now I think we’ve generally disposed of the old saw: Write what you know. This is, in any case, especially bad advice if what you’re writing can in any way be described as fantasy, science fiction, or horror. If … Continue reading

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